Northwell, Fitbit partner on COVID-detection study

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, Northwell, Fitbit partner on COVID-detection study

Northwell Well being’s Feinstein Institutes for Medical Analysis and Fitbit on Thursday introduced they’re collaborating on a research to validate Fitbit’s COVID-19 early detection algorithm.

The research is supported by a $2.5 million award from the U.S. Division of Protection via the medical expertise enterprise consortium. The award is a part of the consortium’s efforts to maintain navy personnel wholesome by detecting the virus earlier than signs emerge.

San Francisco-based Fitbit, which manufactures wearable units targeted on monitoring well being and wellness metrics, had developed an algorithm to detect respiration price, resting coronary heart price and different components. It was initially meant to alert wearers to indicators of a flu an infection however was later tailored for COVID-19. Nevertheless, the algorithm was studied solely in a retrospective setting earlier this 12 months, and there was a necessity for a potential research to validate it in a real-world setting, mentioned Taylor Helgren, vp of product and technique at Fitbit.


A number of thousand frontline and custodial Northwell staffers are anticipated to take part within the research, mentioned Amy McDonough, senior vp and common supervisor of Fitbit Well being Options. Northwell was chosen as its analysis accomplice as a result of it has a strong testing system in place and has a big community of staff, she added.

As soon as the research is initiated, enrolled Northwell staff shall be given a Fitbit smartwatch. Upon notification of indicators of potential sickness, they are going to be given COVID-19 exams for verification, mentioned Karina Davidson, director on the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Analysis.

“Past the push of vaccines, early detection and wearables are an thrilling avenue to additional defend the well being of most people,” Davidson mentioned.

McDonough declined to reveal the complete value of the research. Fitbit’s purpose is to ultimately combine early sickness detection capabilities into its marketed wearables.

The corporate reported a income of $1.four billion in 2019 and offered 16 million units that 12 months.


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